Team Japan, 2017 Vancouver Invitational Wheelchair Rugby Tournament

Japan Wins the 2017 Vancouver Invitational Wheelchair Rugby Tournament!

Japan played fantastically at the tournament, winning every one of their five games. They faced stiff competition on Sunday, facing off against a powerhouse Team Ontario for the final match of the tournament. Ontario held them to a 2 point lead through much of the 1st half, and pressured Japan to make mistakes in their own end. By the end of the 3rd, however, Japan showed the strength of their longer bench and forced a series of pass interceptions that Ontario was unable to recover from. Head coach Kevin Orr was beaming as Yukinobu Ike andMasayuki Haga headed up to collect the coveted trophy.

Team Ontario likely has no regrets about leaving this competition with a second place finish. Under the direction of Team Canada Asssistant Coach and former national team athlete Dave Willsie, they outmanoeuvred tough clubs like the Seattle Slam and the Portland Pounders on their way to the finals. They should head home proud.

In the bronze medal match, the Seattle Slam made quick work of the Portland Pounders. After a closely contested (55-53) win over the Pounders on Friday, they set the tone early by playing aggressively and intercepting a lot of Portland’s inbound passes. Paul Walston and Daisuke Ikezaki were largely responsible for this, and Portland’s defence struggled to contain them.

We’ve had a wonderful time with you ladies and gentlemen over the past three days, and were able to engage many of you here, through our Instagram feed, our Facebook page, and of course, on our website.

As you can imagine, putting on a tournament of this calibre is a real challenge, and we rely on our awesome sponsors to keep things running smoothly. We’d like to acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia. We’d also like to thank Postmark Brewing for keeping the crowds in good spirit and Superstore, Pomme Natural Market, PriceSmart Richmond, Safeway, and Save-On Foods for providing meals to our athletes and volunteers. Thanks so much!

We’d also like to thank Richmond Sport Hosting, Murphy Battista, ViaSport, the Sheraton Hotel, Chair Stuff, Run Inn, Wildwood Landscape, & Maintenance, and Addaday. We couldn’t do this without sponsors like you. Thanks for being part of our team.

See you all next year!

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